District News, December 3 2021

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TARBERT:

‘Register need’ call amid village housing ‘crisis’

Supply is failing to match demand for affordable housing in Tarbert, a situation that has been described as a ‘crisis’.

A drop-in session and public meeting run by Tarbert and Skipness Community Trust (TSCT) on November 18 – ‘Housing need and demand: crisis or drama’ – were led by recently-appointed TSCT project officer Charles Reppke, who has been looking at housing in the village and the pressures facing those with a need for different housing.

Growing second home ownership, properties bought to be used as holiday homes and inward migration has seen housing opportunities reduced over recent years.

Registered social landlords, including Argyll Community Housing Association (ACHA) and Fyne Homes, have said they would support new affordable homes in the village in principle, with support from Argyll and Bute Council and demand from the community.

Council leader Councillor Robin Currie attended the meeting and listened to people affected by a lack of suitable housing – some seeking to move home within the village and business owners who cannot attract staff because there is no suitable accommodation for them.

Mr Reppke explained that there have been no new affordable homes built in the village since eight new ACHA properties were completed in 2016.

Four new three-bedroom family homes are due to be completed next year by ACHA, but TSCT believes there remains a deficit of one- and two-bedroom properties which were identified as a need by the council in 2016.

Pressures on existing social housing comes from young people setting up home; growing families requiring a bigger property; and older people seeking to downsize.

TSCT suggests a mix of housing including the possibility of affordable home ownership but predominantly affordable rental properties.

But Mr Reppke stressed: ‘TSCT has been told for many years that Tarbert needs homes, but if people don’t register their need, then unfortunately it may be seen that Tarbert has a housing drama and not a crisis.

‘Be clear when I say TSCT views this as a crisis.

‘The first aim of TSCT when it was established in 2003 was to secure improvement in affordable housing, but we can’t do it without input from the community and I urge anyone with a housing requirement to register it with HOMEARGYLL.’

Visit www.homeargyll.co.uk to register your housing requirements.

The housing situation in Tarbert has been described as a ‘crisis’.

ISLAY:

£3M water works get underway

Work on Scottish Water’s £3 million water network improvement project in Bowmore has begun.

Nearly four miles of water mains on streets across the town will be replaced over the next 18 months.

Georgina Reid, Scottish Water’s corporate affairs manager for the west, said: ‘Much of the existing network is old and prone to frequent bursts which cause distress, inconvenience and understandable annoyance.

‘This investment will ensure we continue to deliver a reliable source of fresh, clean water to our customers and to the many visitors to the island.’

The vital project to replace ageing infrastructure will be delivered in phases by contractor McFadyens (Campbeltown) Ltd.

Traffic management, agreed in liaison with Argyll and Bute Council, may include temporary traffic lights and will be in place as required as the works progress across the town.

Ms Reid added: ‘We are a little later starting than originally planned due to the logistical challenges of an island community.

‘Inevitably, there will be some disruption but, as always, we will do all that we can to keep it to a minimum.

‘We would like to thank customers and road users for their patience and understanding.’